Friday, June 9

5 Friends

Research by Robin Dunbar and other happiness researchers indicates that the happiest people have five friends that they can turn to for everything. Of the thousands of people I may recognize, the hundreds I may know, and the dozens who are a part of my life, five should be close enough to touch my heart and soul.

For most of my social existence, this paradigm has simply highlighted the loneliness that is my life. I've had friends, even close friends, but almost never those to which I could turn for everything in life.

Recently, however, I've come to believe that *everyone* - even chaotic, socially inept people like me - should be happy. That I should have close friends as well.

Hence 5 Friends.

I want to make 5 Friends - real friends - that can be a central part of my life.

I have no shortage of fears or qualms. The vast majority of my attempts to build friendships end catastrophically... and I don't think that's an exaggeration. I've been told on more than one occasion that being my friend was the most stressful and painful experience of a person's life. That fear, along with enormous failure rates, has made it hard for me to really make friends in the past.

But I'm going to do it.

And I believe I'll succeed. I'm already partway there.

To all the people that I meet in the days and years ahead, to all those who have crossed my path thus far, thank you for your help and patience along the path. I hope that you can help me learn and improve on my imperfections... and that the relationship we have, long- or short-lived, will lift you up.

Perhaps you'll even become a lifelong friend.

Alone I sail upon the sea
Its glass reflecting
The clouds above, the falling rain,
As tears upon the water.

Distantly the hail of welcome calls
And ships approach,
Their wooden bows beckoning
To stay the course and board.

There is no flag to hoist in warning.
But none would heed its code.
Only nearness can betray the water's guile.

No ship nearly normal 
Could ever hope to leave
Such utter chaos
As trails within my wake.

Broken masts
And cargo lost
Each a priceless shattered piece
To which I've no recourse

Is it folly, then, to think myself
In a future state
Capacious to calm the waves
That swirl around me?

Or somehow hope that sailors
Might see the unseen break
And navigate 
To closer, safer shoals?

Some break yet at a distance.
Some seem to almost breach.
And for each that makes the journey
I find pain.

And yet.

For each that makes the journey,
I let myself believe 
That one will pass.
And then another and another.
Until *we* will sail together
Upon the waving, stormy sea.

That there might somewhere be
Sailors on the sea
Like me.

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